A blog all about ‘Beer Mats’

All about beermats, dripmats and coasters!

Beermat manufacturer, sorry, supplier Zyan buy beermat domains

The latest beer mat news is that Solent Media Limited trading as Zyan Design & Print has just purchased two .com beermat domains to “facilitate expansion”, at a cost of $10,000. The intention is laudable, but purists may claim that their money would have been better spent toward a deposit for the purchase of a print press, rather than a domain or two. There is nothing wrong with selling beermats, many print brokers, dealers, agencies, promotional houses, print suppliers and advertising houses do, but there is no evidence that these companies claim to be a beermat manufacturer in the process.

So, can you claim to be a manufacturer if you are not? The short answer is you can claim to be virtually anything, but it doesn’t mean you are, perhaps only that you simply aspire to be something else. Who knows, but here is the actual definition of a ‘manufacturer’: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”.  So, if you advertise and take orders for beermats, then place that order on a beermat manufacturing company, who then go on to manufacture the beermats, are you a beermat manufacturer? I think not!

This is the ‘title’ on Zyan’s beermats page as of today’s date: Beer mats, drip mats printer and manufacturer – Zyan Design & Print. Of course they are not alone, there is another Beermat Company using Google Advertising in which they claim that there is “no middleman”. Right, so this particular Beermat Company, doesn’t print their own beermats, but they claim in their advertising that there is no middleman. They also, by the way, claim to be a beermat manufacturer. What is the world coming to? Perhaps it is the Internet that facilitates or allows claims that are difficult for casual observers to substantiate? I know for example, that I would like to be 6′ 2″ tall, but if anyone was to meet me, they would quickly work out that I am a good 4″ shorter. But, if I made this claim on the Internet, who would know?

So what’s my beef? Well, there are dozens of highly professional companies out there that are actively selling printed beermats, but do not feel the necessity to claim to be the manufacturer. They offer a service, but they are not on a level playing field, because there is an implication, or perhaps a perception that, by dealing with a manufacturer the price will be cheaper, there is more control over the manufacturing process or maybe the service will be faster. Arguably, if there was no sales or commercial advantage, why would anyone claim to be a manufacturer when they don’t own a press?

There is NO reason why any individual or company should not buy their beermats through an intermediary, in fact, many choose to do so. But, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for any business to claim to be a manufacturer, when in reality they are an intermediary. If you offer a good service, your prices are competitive and you deliver on your promises, it is possible to be successful and candid.

4 February, 2009 Posted by | General, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

When is a beermat manufacturer not a beermat manufacturer?

Well the definition of a ‘manufacturer’ is as follows: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”. Therefore a purist would argue that unless the beermat company in question was in the business of manufacturing and had their own plant, that they could not possible be described as a manufacturer.

 

Given the definition is so clear, why you may ask, would a beermat company attempt to claim that they were a beermat manufacturer? Is it because it makes them appear as if they have substance, or perhaps because they believe that their customers may feel that as a supplier, as distinct from a manufacturer, will have less control over the manufacturing process? Or maybe the beermat company appreciates, that as a supplier, rather than a beermat manufacturer, they can only influence, rather than control the manufacturing process? So, by pretending to be a beermat manufacturer, rather than a supplier, surely they are openly misleading the customer into believing that they have real control?

 

Whether a beermat company claims to be a beermat manufacturer or not probably isn’t really the point. What must be, however, is the fact that it is so clearly misleading. This is because it provides a false impression to the customer that they (the beermat company) have some control over the manufacturing process, including the quality, timescales and delivery. Few people would object to dealing with a supplier, rather than a manufacturer, after all, most of us have to deal with intermediaries such as dealers, retailers and suppliers everyday of the week. But most of us would be concerned about being deliberately mislead, because if a beermat company was prepared to provide a false impression of what their role in the whole process was, is there anything else they are not telling us?

 

There is a marked difference between exaggeration and an outright lie and the customer must decide which it is. Is a company claiming to be a beermat manufacturer simply be guilty of ‘creative license’? If so, would it also be okay for every car dealer to claim that they are the manufacturer, after all, it is they who place the ‘build order’ on the factory? Perhaps not!

 

What a pity that here in the UK, there are a few companies, that rather than highlighting the virtues of their service,  their price and their  important part in the process, simply seek to claim to be something they are not. Of course this is not only in the beermat manufacturing business, it goes on in many other industries, but there is no reason why any of them should feel the need to exaggerate their roles. They should stand up and be counted. Customers do not like being taken for fools and whilst the customer may still get their product, as described, as quoted and on time, they surely cannot help but feel that they were just ‘lucky this time’.

 

The term ‘honest and integrity’ goes together like ‘hand in glove’ and those who would seek to deceive or exaggerate would do well to consider this. There are many intermediaries that can add value to the process of ordering beermats, be they dealers, brokers, promotional houses, print suppliers or advertising agencies, none of these should ever seek to claim to be something they are not and fortunately, none appear to. So the message to anyone claiming to be a beermat manufacturer when they are not is to be honest, first with themselves and second with their customers.

 

There are currently only 2 established beermat manufacturers in the UK, these are Thirstys.co.uk and Mosaic Board & Print. So, if you want to deal direct with the manufacturer, you need to be talking to one of these companies, if you are happy to deal with am intermediary, there are many promotional companies, advertising agencies, print brokers and dealers that can assist you.

 

Abraham Lincoln said “You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment